Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/5/2015 (699 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The historic landmarks in northwest Winnipeg are so numerous it would take a book, or two, to give them due justice.
But Doors Open Winnipeg is a free annual event taking place May 30 and 31 that allows you to physically walk through some of Winnipeg’s architectural treasures and experience them for yourself. Many places even offer guided tours.
One Doors Open location that people are just dying to get into is the old Kildonan Presbyterian Cemetery.
Seriously, though, while a cemetery may not your usual tourist draw, it should be. Located just north of the Chief Peguis Trail, the cemetery surrounds one of the oldest churches in western Canada, a humble stone structure opened in 1854 to serve the original Red River settlers.
It’s said to be one of only five Red River Settlement-era stone churches still standing in Manitoba and was built under the supervision of Duncan McRae, who helped build Upper and Lower Fort Garry.
The graves of many of Winnipeg’s founding pioneers and early citizens are located
One of the pioneer citizens in the cemetery is Alexander Macdonald and, according to Len Kaminski, a long-time president of the Seven Oaks Historical Society, "that so little is known about him today is quite puzzling."
Macdonald, his wife and his five children are contained within the cemetery’s distinguished-looking mausoleum, which sits in plain view of Main Street.
Basically, the Scottish born Macdonald came here as a young man and became a hugely successful businessman, one of the founders of the Winnipeg Free Press, the Winnipeg Tribune, Great-West Life Assurance Company and a large grocery store chain, among other ventures.
Kaminski notes that he was also known for his philanthropy, that his enormous estate became a cause for concern and his will mysteriously became a "major controversy in the country," now referred to as the "famous ‘Macdonald Will Case.’"
Also buried in the cemetery is Rev. Charles William Gordon, a best-selling novelist of over 30 books written under the pen name Ralph Connor. Gordon’s mansion is also on display in Armstrong’s Point this weekend.
Among the other well-known citizens interred there are First World War Victoria Cross recipient Alan Arnett McLeod, Flora and Samuel Henderson (Henderson Highway is named for their children) and Rev. John Black, the first minister, and his wife, Henrietta Ross Black.
Other treasures in The Times area that will be open are: Seven Oaks House Museum, the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga, Bishop Velychkovsky Martyr’s Shrine, the Cathedral Church of St. John, McBeth House, Ross House Museum, St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Heritage Church and the E.P. Leacock Estate (Marymound School).
For more details visitdoorsopenwinnipeg.ca
Cheryl Girard is a community correspondent for West Kildonan. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org